Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism by Janet AfaryFoucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism by Janet Afary

Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism

byJanet Afary, Kevin B. Anderson

Paperback | June 20, 2005

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In 1978, as the protests against the Shah of Iran reached their zenith, philosopher Michel Foucault was working as a special correspondent for Corriere della Sera and le Nouvel Observateur. During his little-known stint as a journalist, Foucault traveled to Iran, met with leaders like Ayatollah Khomeini, and wrote a series of articles on the revolution. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution is the first book-length analysis of these essays on Iran, the majority of which have never before appeared in English. Accompanying the analysis are annotated translations of the Iran writings in their entirety and the at times blistering responses from such contemporaneous critics as Middle East scholar Maxime Rodinson as well as comments on the revolution by feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir.

In this important and controversial account, Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson illuminate Foucault's support of the Islamist movement. They also show how Foucault's experiences in Iran contributed to a turning point in his thought, influencing his ideas on the Enlightenment, homosexuality, and his search for political spirituality. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution informs current discussion on the divisions that have reemerged among Western intellectuals over the response to radical Islamism after September 11. Foucault's provocative writings are thus essential for understanding the history and the future of the West's relationship with Iran and, more generally, to political Islam. In their examination of these journalistic pieces, Afary and Anderson offer a surprising glimpse into the mind of a celebrated thinker.
Janet Afary is associate professor of history and women's studies at Purdue University. She is the author of The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, and current president of the International Society for Iranian Studies. Kevin B. Anderson is associate professor of political science and sociology at Purdue University and the a...
Title:Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of IslamismFormat:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:June 20, 2005Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226007863

ISBN - 13:9780226007861


Table of Contents

Part IFoucault's Discourse: On Pinnacles and Pitfalls
1. The Paradoxical World of Foucault: The Modern and the Traditional Social Orders
2. Processions, Passion Plays, and Rites of Penance: Foucault, Shi'ism, and Early Christian Rituals
Part IIFoucault's Writings on the Iranian Revolution and After
3. The Visits to Iran and the Controversies with "Atoussa H." and Maxime Rodinson
4. Debating the Outcome of the Revolution, Especially on Women's Rights
5. Foucault, Gender, and Male Homosexualities in Mediterranean and Muslim Societies
Epilogue: From the Iranian Revolution to September 11, 2001
Appendix: Foucault and His Critics, an Annotated Translation

Editorial Reviews

"This is an important and extremely timely book. For decades there has been debaaate, sometimes hushed, sometimes bitter, about Michel Foucault's celebration of the Iranian revolution. What we have lacked is documentary evidence of what was said, and by whom. Afary and Anderson have provided an immense service by translating the relevant writings by Foucault and, more significantly, his critics. The story that emerges from the translations and the thoughtful, measured analysis of them is gripping."--Mark Lilla, author of The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics